Military urges media to portray Nigeria in good light

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Maradi, Niger (April 3, 2007) – Nigerian soldiers from the 322nd Parachute Regiment line up in formation before participating in target practice facilitated by U.S. Army soldiers during Operation Flintlock 2007. The primary focus of Operation Flintlock is to provide an interactive exchange of military, linguistic and intercultural skills for both nations. U.S. Special Operations Forces depend on the ability to interface with foreign military forces in which this training is meant to enhance. The training will also help Niger to respond to threats within and across their borders to maintain security and stability. This event is part of an ongoing and long standing military-to-military relationship that the U.S. enjoys with Niger, and part of the U.S. State Department’s Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Larson. (RELEASED)

The Nigerian military has urged media organisations to always project the country in good light as being done by their counterparts in other societies in the general interest of the country.

It argued that the way local media portrays the country often contributes to shaping how the country and its citizens are perceived by the international community, including foreign investors.

The Director, Defence Information (DDI), Brigadier General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr made the appeal while speaking in Abuja on Saturday evening at the Third Security and Emergency Management Awards/First Spokespersons Communication Awards, organised by Image Merchants Promotion Limited (IMPL).

“For example, you have the CNN projecting the image of the Americans; you have the BBC projecting the image of the United Kingdom; you have the Voice of America projecting the image of America.

“Here, in Nigeria, those who are working in the media must project the image of Nigeria positively, because it is the way you project your country that others will take it,” Sawyerr, who was also an awardee, said.

He commended those behind the initiative and expressed the hope that they too would one day be recognised for the good works they are doing.

The head of IMPL, Malam Yushau Shuaib said the initiative was intended to recognise those who are risking their lives to ensure that the country was safe to inhabit.

He appealed to Nigerians to always give maximum support to security agencies by volunteering information that will diligently aid them in the discharge of their duties of ensuring peace for the nation.

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